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Every Child Matters hockey game brings education and culture to the Saddledome

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The Calgary Hitmen and Siksika Health Services honoured Indigenous culture and history through their fourth annual Every Child Matters hockey game Saturday. 

The game, now a staple in the city, aims to empower the next generation through sport. 

“It provides me, the Hitmen, our fans and our players a chance to learn,” team VP Mike Moore said. “It means so many things, like building relationships and partnerships with the Indigenous culture and the Siksika Nation.”

This year, the game’s theme was “hope.” The team says that represents Hope, Opportunity, Pathway and Empowerment — with a particular focus on youth. 

Young people from the Nation were heavily featured in the lead up to — and throughout —the event. 

And on the ice and in the stands, thousands of orange jerseys were worn. 

Created by two local artists, the sweaters shine a light on important culture and language. 

The Canadian founder of Orange Shirt Day approves. 

“The idea is to teach the history of what happened to us through sport,” Phyllis Webstad said. “It’s treating Indigenous people as human beings, because we haven’t always been treated that way. And that, for me, is the biggest thing.”

The fourth Every Child Matters game was presented with help by the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary, the Blackfoot Confederacy, First Nations Health Consortium and Siksika Family Services.

It was played against the Moose Jaw Warriors.

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